In episode 240 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Sarah Chorn, Paul Weimer, Kristin Centorcelli, and Jeff Patterson, discuss the most accessible Science Fiction Novels they know for someone just coming into genre fiction.

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WINNERS: 2013 Aurealis Awards

The winners for the 2013 Aurealis Awards, given to works of SF, fantasy, and horror by Australians, have been announced!


  • PETER MCNAMARA CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE: Jonathan Strahan
  • BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK OR GRAPHIC NOVEL (Tie):
    • Burger Force by Jackie Ryan (self published)
    • The Deep Vol. 2: The Vanishing Island by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer (Gestalt Publishing)
  • BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie by Kirsty Murray (Allen & Unwin)
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT FICTION: “By Bone light” by Juliet Marillier (Prickle Moon, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL (Tie):
    • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
    • Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)
  • BEST HORROR SHORT FICTION: “The Year of Ancient Ghosts” by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • BEST HORROR NOVEL: Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)
  • BEST FANTASY SHORT FICTION: “The Last Stormdancer” by Jay Kristoff (Thomas Dunne Books)
  • BEST FANTASY NOVEL: A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan (self published)
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT FICTION: “Air, Water and the Grove” by Kaaron Warren (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium Press)
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette)
  • BEST ANTHOLOGY (Tie):
    • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Eds), (Ticonderoga Publications)
    • One Small Step, An Anthology Of Discoveries by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)
  • BEST COLLECTION: The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton (FableCroft Publishing)

Congratulations to all the winners!

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After last week’s listing of 420 Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Kindle eBook Deals $3.99 or Less – SF Signal., some folks started emailing me with some omissions. Then one thing led to another and…well…here are another 152 eBook Deals priced under $4 bucks.

All of these titles are priced under $4 at the time of writing this post. Same disclaimer applies: Prices are subject to change, so check the price before clicking “buy”. If Amazon is not your eBook ecosystem, please do look up the titles wherever you buy your eBooks; discounts are often applied at other outlets, so check there.

  1. Thief of Dreams (Star Requiem, 2) by Adrian Cole (Open Road Media)
  2. Warlord of Heaven (Star Requiem, 3) by Adrian Cole (Open Road Media)
  3. A Place Among the Fallen (Omaran Saga, 1) by Adrian Cole (Open Road Media)

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Here’s the book description and table of contents for Jennifer Brozek’s new anthology Bless Your Mechanical Heart

“Bless your mechanical heart…”

Since its earliest days, science fiction has explored the notion of a walking, talking, thinking machine, reflecting back our own humanity through their glass eyes, exploring their own humanity framed in the symmetry of programming and gears, trapped in a cage of synthetic flesh and metal bone. What happens when what we’ve made in our own image becomes more like us than we ever imagined? Robots in love. Robots at war. Robots who weep and dream. Robots who aspire to be on equal footing with their makers…or even possibly exceed us.

In Bless Your Mechanical Heart, Award-winning editor Jennifer Brozek brings together a team of writers, both new and established, to explore one of the most enduring archetypes in the science fiction genre with a tip of the hat to one of the most endearing and versatile phrases in Southern culture. Featuring stories by Peter Clines, Jody Lynn Nye, Seanan McGuire, Fiona Patton, Jean Rabe, Ken Scholes, and Lucy A. Snyder.

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Jurassic Park Without CGI

Anyone who saw Jurassic Park in its original theatrical release will recall how groundbreaking the special effects were. I certainly recall being put off by the graphic nature of people being eaten.

Not so scary? This version of Jurassic Park that lacks cutting edge effects.

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Books Received: April 7, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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Interviews & Profiles

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SHORT FILM: R.U.R.: Genesis

Czech writer Karel Čapek’s 1919 Play R.U.R. — which is about a hostile worker robot rebellion in the future year 1969 that leads to the extinction of the human race — is known for both its introduction of the word “robot” (R.U.R. was translated into English as “Rossum’s Universal Robots”) and also as insightful commentary into social class structure. R.U.R. is often cited as the influence for many science fiction novels that include robots.

More directly, it inspired filmmaker James Kerwin to make the film R.U.R.: Genesis, set in Čapek’s alt-history 1969, complete with ’60s styles and go-go dancers. Groovy, man.

The following serves as both a standalone short film and as a teaser for the forthcoming fill-length feature film.

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To get you in the mood for tonight’s season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO, here’s a video with all the killings they’ve showed…

Enjoy!

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The winners of our giveaway for Irenicon by Aidan Harte have been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to:

  • Jim D.
  • Kathy H.
  • Shoshana N.
  • Ray P.
  • Matthew R.

You will be receiving your prize soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

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It’s time another Book Cover Smackdown! This episode’s covers all come from the Fall 2014 Tor Books catalog.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it): play armchair art critic!

Tell us: which of these covers grabs your attention? What appeals to you? What works and what doesn’t work? Do any of them make you want to read the book?

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Suvudu has posted the table of contents for the upcoming (June 17, 2014) 832-page anthology Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois:

Here’s the book description:

A thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors—including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin!

The latest story collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire Ice and Fire saga.

Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis as well as other masters of literary sleight-of-hand in this rogues’ gallery of stories that will plunder your heart—and yet leave you all the richer for it.

Here’s the table of contents…
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No, it’s really happening. My novel, After The Fires Went Out: Coyote, is now free on Amazon (in US, Canada, and Australia). I even went and fixed all but one typo. I guess I should run a contest on that… so, if you read it and find that typo… I’ll give you some kind of “prize”.

Got a hot Free Fiction Tip? Tell me here

Want these delicious links emailed to you once a week? Sign up for the Free SF/F/H Fiction Newsletter

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-04-05

Interviews & Profiles

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for Samantha Shannon’s upcoming novel The Mime Order, sequel to New York Times bestseller The Bone Season.

Here’s the synopsis:
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REVIEW SUMMARY: Today’s Short Fiction spotlight focuses on the four works of original fiction presented in Issue 91 of Clarkesworld.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: These four short fiction offerings look at the presence of the truly alien on Earth, the child-rearing of an A.I. spaceship, a young woman with no magic of her own who suddenly finds herself possessed of an unusual way to travel her world, and the April Fool’s Day pranks of a future genius involving the then-common way that matter is transferred.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: A refreshing presentation of aliens who are truly alien; elements of “science” woven into the science fiction; plot lines which urge the reader to delve further into the stories.
CONS: All four stories share the trait of ending with questions unanswered (a “pro” for those who enjoy that type of storytelling).
BOTTOM LINE: I often speculate what percentage of one’s enjoyment of, or disappointment with, short genre fiction is based on the frame of mind/desires/expectations going in vs. the skill and story choices of the author. I have noticed within myself a preference for short stories that share a structure with novels–a tight beginning, middle and definitive end–as opposed to those that end with more questions, or simply a new beginning. Then there are times, like with this issue of Clarkesworld, in which the stories end in thought-provoking, questioning ways as opposed to wrapping up the vignette with a nice and tidy bow, and I find myself having an equally enjoyable reading experience. That is a long-winded way to posit the belief that the skill of these writers and the interesting variety of storytelling will be a rewarding experience for most readers who take advantage of what Clarkesworld Issue 91 has to offer.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Enjoyable if uninspired, Captain America’s second solo adventure proves a solid entry in the Marvel filmic universe despite an overlong running time and too few new ideas.

MY REVIEW:

SYNOPSIS: When S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury is attacked by a strike team, Captain America finds himself enmeshed in a conspiracy that could test his very loyalties.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: The cast, especially Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson; quieter, character-driven elements in the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, efficient action sequences filmed by directors Anthony and Joe Russo; a couple of strong reveals.
CONS: Routine thriller script, including a bland conspiracy plot.
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Katherine Addison‘s short fiction has been selected by The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her new novel, The Goblin Emperor, was just published by Tor. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin.

Tolkien, Orcs, Elves and Goblins

by Katherine Addison

I write a lot of different things, but one of my first and deepest loves is the genre that sometimes gets called “epic fantasy” or “secondary-world fantasy”: stories that take place entirely in imaginary worlds. Unsurprisingly, I came to Tolkien early, I loved–and love–him deeply, and he is undeniably one of a handful of very profound influences on my writing. (Tolkien, Wolfe, and Kushner are the three fantasy writers I most want to be able to write like, which probably explains a great many things about my books.) I love the world he invented, and I strive in my own writing to give the same sense of depth that he does, the same intense sense of history. And if I could write travel narrative as well as he does…well…that would be shiny.
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The new issue of Clarkesworld is now posted:
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Friday YouTube: Banecat!

Pretty much what you’d expect…but still funny.
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